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Giada USA Launches GT200 Micro Server, Offers Older Parts In Low Power Package (Update)

By - Source: Giada USA
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Giada USA announced the specifications for its upcoming GT200 Micro Server, offering small business and home users a low-power SME solution at an affordable price point.

This new SME device is designed for simple roles like file, web, email and print server applications, and Giada claimed it sips only 30 watts of power at full load. "In our tests, a GT200 fully loaded with 2 SATA drives, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and an mSATA SSD consumed less than 30W at 93 percent CPU utilization," read the press release. The GT200 comes with a 60 watt power adapter, so it's likely that a more robust configuration would draw more than Giada's estimates. Still, this is an impressive claim.

The guts of the GT200 micro server are mostly older components. The low power consumption is thanks primarily to the host processor, a two-year-old Intel Celeron 1037U dual-core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz and sporting a maximum TDP of 17 watts. The Intel HM77 chipset provides two SO-DIMM slots for a maximum of 16 GB of 1333/1600MHz DDR3 RAM; two SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5- or 3.5-inch drive bays; and an mSATA SSD slot, giving this server some serious flexibility, albeit with an older feature set.

Interestingly, Giada also advertised Intel RST support for RAID 0, 1, 5, or 10, although with only two drive bays, RAID 5 and 10 would not be an applicable configuration. We reached out to Giada for clarification, inquiring whether or not there were more SATA ports on the motherboard that could allow users to stuff four 2.5-inch drives into the two provided bays (it isn't pretty, though it's also not uncommon), but we have not heard back.

Another issue concerned me. Because the older Intel HM77 chipset only has two SATA III 6 Gb/s interfaces, is RAID 5 and RAID 10 supported (if at all) via a third-party SATA III 6 Gb/s controller, or via the four remaining SATA II 3 Gb/s ports native to the HM77 chipset?

This could also just be an advertising error, as Giada also plainly stated you can configure the two SATA III 6 Gb/s drive bays in RAID 0 and RAID 1 (with no mention of RAID 5 or 10) in another section of the press release. Giada USA has not replied as of yet, but we will update this article with clarification on the SATA port configuration if and when it is made available. One wouldn't expect additional SATA ports outside of the provided bays in a small form factor micro server, especially with an HM77 chipset, but the discrepancy in Giada's marketing materials warrants further inquiry.

Connectivity appears somewhat limited, but that's likely due to the unit's size (a mere 8.4 x 4.3 x 6.7 inches). The front panel provides only one USB 3.0 port and there are just three other USB 2.0 ports on the device. Furthermore, there is only one video output in the form of a VGA port. Dual gigabit Ethernet ports provide high network availability and redundancy, which is a welcome surprise on such a small, low-power server.

Giada's patented JAHC Active Hardware Control technology provides control over power scheduling and AC loss recovery with an easy-to-use interface. The GT200 Micro Server also supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0, Ubuntu server 14.04, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

The GT200 Micro Server will arrive in August with an MSRP of $320. It doesn't use the latest or greatest hardware available, but the GT200 offers adequate features for basic small business and home network needs with, on paper, impressively low power consumption, a fair price, decent scalability and manageable size.

Update, 7/24/15, 6:30am PT: Well, that explains it. A Giada representative eventually replied to our request and confirmed that there was an error in the spec, and the GT200 indeed can only support RAID 0 and 1. RAID 5 and 10 are not supported.